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sami   Jan 15, 2016   Billions

Read a very good review with compliments to cast and writing especially the powerful trio Maggie Siff, Paul Giamatti…and Damian Lewis!!

Set in the world of financial titans, bouncing between sprawling mansions, sleek hedge fund headquarters, and oak-paneled halls of the United States Attorney’s Office in New York City, featuring an appearance by Metallica, and with Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis in the lead roles, Showtime’s “Billions” probably didn’t come cheap.
However, paying for these two Emmy-winning talents is the best investment the show could make. Whether their characters are circling one another from afar or facing off just inches away, each man gives a performance that is impossible to look away from.
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Giamatti and Lewis are two hugely talented actors, and seeing them up against each other is enthralling. Each time they engage in a toe-to-toe tête-à-tête, the screen vibrates from the tension and the tightly reined power.

“Billions” does a terrific job of contrasting their characters, both in the script and in production design details and lighting, but it doesn’t back away from their similarities, even as they’re on opposite sides of the law.

As Axe’s right-hand man Mike “Wags” Wagner, David Costabile deserves special recognition. He’s played far quieter roles in shows ranging from “Flight of the Conchords” to “Breaking Bad” and “The Wire.” Here, he’s powerful and brash, and he appears to be having the most fun of anyone on or off screen. Beyond Costabile, the regular cast is filled and bolstered each episode with guests who bump up the show in quality, particularly character actors Glenn Fleshler, Stephen Kunken, and Jeffrey DeMunn.

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 The powerhouse leads of Giamatti and Lewis make for increasingly compelling viewing. “Billions” first few episodes aren’t quite so magnetic, but stick around, because by the midway mark, I was greedy enough to step on anyone in my way for more…
full review:
sami   Jan 15, 2016   Billions

Read article extracts here and don’t miss our recent updates below!:)

On Showtime’s ‘Billions,’ Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis fight a brutal class war..
“Billions” is rooted in an intriguing triangle. It follows crusading U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti), who’s made his name going after Wall Street and has set his sights on hedge fund Bobby Axelrod (“Homeland” veteran Damian Lewis), a working-class guy who’s acquired great wealth, but retains a strategically deployed rough edge.

Bobby’s closest employee and one of his best friends is Wendy Rhoades (a terrific Maggie Siff, rescued from the purgatory of “Sons of Anarchy”), Chuck’s wife and the in-house psychiatrist at Bobby’s firm. The setup puts Bobby and Chuck in competition not just for professional power and preeminence, but for Wendy’s loyalties.

And Wendy has to reckon with her influence over both men’s brains, her abilities to make them better — or at least different — versions of themselves.

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“Billions” is a show that treats power and money as concepts that start as neutral, and then explores how people use them. It’s a premise that appealed to co-star Damian Lewis.

“No head of state, president, prime minister, anyone, U.S. attorney, hedge fund billionaire, anyone with great power and influence, none of them will live a life without compromise,” he mused when we talked last year. “They will make decisions that compromise themselves, ethically, morally, weekly.”

“Billions” is also informed by the very specific conflict between money and power taking place in the battles between the financial industry and regulators in New York.

Bobby defines himself in part by his generosity towards the families of his colleagues who died on September 11; he happened to be out of the office when the planes hit the twin towers. This is an aspect of the storytelling that series co-creator Brian Koppelman says grew out of their — and New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin’s — discussions with people who work in the financial industry, many of whom mentioned the attacks as a formative event.

And Lewis sees September 11 and the financial crisis that took place in 2007 and 2008 as inextricably linked, subjects that no story about finance could possibly avoid; the pilot has a rancorous scene where Chuck confronts Bobby about the way Chuck believes Bobby uses September 11 as a shield from criticism.

“Where I come from, we still have a class structure, and it still adheres to birth, the sound of your voice,” said Lewis, who is British. “Here it always struck me that class is not so accentuated, though I would have to say, living on the East Coast I get much more of a sense of class, who the true Americans are, whatever that means. The old European money, the first settlers who came, the WASP-y Ivy League-y families. And Paul’s [Giamatti] character seems to come from that background, and I come from a more Irish immigrant street blue-collar kind of family.”

“What is the idea of success here in America?” Lewis continued. “It still seems to me that it’s an aspirational society, it has great mobility, or at least that’s the dream, that’s what’s peddled to you by politicians. … That you can come, you can make money and if you have money it sort of negates any idea of class. Just, you made it here.”

Lewis, having recently played Sgt. Nicholas Brody on “Homeland” and Henry VIII in “Wolf Hall,” knows a thing or two about the relationship between public image and private life.

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“It’s always interesting when you meet somebody who has a sense of their own destiny, when you meet them in life. They’re compelling people. … Somebody who does is probably going to be the guy who changes the world in some way. And I think all of those guys have a sense of their destiny,” Lewis said when I asked about how the three parts related to each other.

“I think Brody is by far the most damaged. Brody, of course, within ‘Homeland,’ in the first season represented threat. He was dangerous. But he was dangerous always, in my mind, because he was a victim of circumstance. He was a victim of an ill-conceived war and a decision to go to war, and then a powerful guru figure. He was really never stable. I think there’s something very stable about Bobby. I think he knows himself very well.”

But the game in “Billions” is a constantly shifting one. And however well Bobby, Chuck and Wendy know each other, they live in a world where pleasure and pain come from surprising places.

full article:

sami   Jan 14, 2016   Billions

Guys, we told you before, we tell you again…SPOILER ALERT in pictures or articles about Billions…your read- your risk:) enjoy!! stills from episode 3 called

YumTime…

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BILLIONS premieres 17th.January on Showtime

source and more stills here: 

sami   Jan 14, 2016   Billions

Another very nice and detailed review!

It’s easy to spot the bad guys in “Billions”: They’re all rotten bad guys, beginning with the devil incarnate, Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis). Soon enough, we realize it’s not just the money manipulators who are evil, it’s the entire system. That eventually includes the men and women who are supposed to be keeping an eye on greedy money magnates. And even crusading journalists can be co-opted.

His killer instinct…

Axelrod runs Axe Capital, a highly successful hedge fund company. He’s charming, a generous donor to a number of worthy causes, a faithful husband to his wife, Lara (Malin Akerman), and an attentive father to their two boys. It all looks perfect from the outside. Inside is something else entirely. Axe grew up poor, working as a caddy for some of the titans who now cower before him. He’s climbed to the top to exact payback on those who ignored him before. Axe doesn’t leave his killer instinct at the office — he brings it home as well, testing his young sons to toughen them up at an early age for the dog-eat-dog life ahead of them.

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The cynicism in “Billions” is undiluted, and everyone is villainous, to one degree or another. Against that backdrop, we nonetheless find ourselves rooting for Axe over Rhoades.

Axe is a swashbuckler, the kind of larger-than-life guy we might daydream about becoming. We don’t expect him to be heroic, but the same can’t be said about Rhoades. He’s supposed to be the good guy in the equation, but is increasingly willing to compromise his values to get what he wants. For viewers, the ends simply don’t justify the means.

The performances are top-notch on every level. Giamatti speaks in a soft tone much of the time, as if he’s hypnotizing you. His tone shows us a man in total control of every situation. When he loses control of a situation, he goes from zero to 60 in a second.

Lewis’ performance as Bobby is a perfect match, right down to the chillingly soft-spoken sense of being in complete control — of himself as well as everything and everyone around him.

 full review: 

sami   Jan 14, 2016   Billions

It’s like paradise these days with so many fantastic promotion and great articles and reviews…read more with us:)

In this corner, Paul Giamatti. In that corner, Damian Lewis.

In the financial arena, though, Giamatti and Lewis play two equally matched heavyweights in the new series Billions, which debuts Sunday, Jan. 17, on The Movie Network and Movie Central in Canada, as well as channel-of-origin Showtime in the United States.

“It’s got a little bit of a pulpy edge to it, kind of a heated feeling,” Giamatti said. “It’s got, in the best possible way, a bit of a pot-boiler-ish feeling to it. It’s a little bit sweaty.”

Added Lewis, “It’s a more anthropological look at the way in which the powerful and the rich behave. You see these guys competing with one another like two heavyweights, slugging it out, and that could go on for two or three seasons.”

Well, first things first, let’s set up Season 1
Lewis plays a brilliant, self-made, cutthroat, hedge-fund billionaire named Bobby “Axe” Axelrod. Giamatti is a blue-blooded, bull-headed, politically connected New York District Attorney named Chuck Rhoades.
You might say they are natural enemies.
Chuck thinks Bobby acquired his wealth in a questionable manner and sees Bobby’s publicity-conscious charitable acts as dripping with insincerity.

Bobby thinks guys like Chuck merely are jealous. As Bobby says to Chuck in the first episode, “What’s the point of having ‘f— you’ money if you never say ‘f— you?’ ”
Bobby’s attitude can be summed up in a quote utilized in a promo clip for Billions that has been shown repeatedly over the past few months. Bobby asks, “When did it become a crime to succeed in this country?”

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There’s a lot of anger directed towards the world of finance since 2007, 2008,” Lewis said. “The overall perception is still that these guys got away with it. The bonuses are still huge. So yeah, there will be a preconception that perhaps Bobby is the bad guy, but I think you do yourself a disservice just to start out that way.

 Both Giamatti and Lewis confirmed that they actually don’t have tons of scenes together in Billions. That’s comparatively speaking, when you consider some of the other characters, such as Bobby’s wife Lara, played by Malin Akerman, and Chuck’s wife Wendy, played by Maggie Siff.

“But I love the fact that we don’t encounter each other much, it’s sort of exciting as an actor, and hopefully for viewers, too,” Giamatti said. “You look forward to the next time they’re going to run into each other.”
So where will that be? In a courtroom? In a boxing ring?

 full article: